by Joe Muggs
The Arts Desk
The first signs were good. I've been to a lot of shows by “heritage bands” in my time, but I don't think I've ever seen a crowd for a band of Fleetwood Mac's vintage that had such an even age distribution. Sure, it was heavily weighted towards the greying end of the scale, but every age group down to teens – including teens there in groups under their own steam, not just with parents – was well represented, right across class boundaries too.
But then Fleetwood Mac have always been a lot of things to a lot of people. From the bluesy 60s underground Peter Green era, through the spectacular 70s pinnacles of rock-Babylon mega-success following Green's decline and departure and the arrival of sparkly-eyed Californians Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham, to the shiny pure pop of their late-80s Tango In The Night creative swansong, they covered an awful lot of ground. Everyone was hoping their setlist might suit their own tastes – in my case the Tango In The Night songs of my schooldays.
On stage, the band managed the extraordinarily impressive feat for such a repeatedly split-and-reformed act of actually looking like a band. Other than the lack of Christine McVie, who has seemingly permanently retired from live performance, this was the classic 70s/80s lineup of Nicks and Buckingham out front and the founder-members' British rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie (the original “Fleetwood” and “Mac”) on drums and bass behind them – plus backing vocalists and two session musician multi-instrumentalists in the wings.
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